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Cool and Clean Challenge - Falcon Park

Environmental Justice

See the latest projects we’ve worked on to improve public health in the places where we live.

Current Projects

USDA Grow Local Tempe increases food resiliency by supporting urban agriculture education and development in economically vulnerable populations.

Institute for Sustainable Communities - Dismantling Energy Insecurity in Communities of Color
activates community resiliency through the development of community solar resilience hubs and other sustainable practices.

We coordinate neighborhood engagement and public outreach through surveys, listening sessions and workshops in the Alegre, Victory Acres and Escalante neighborhoods to identify urban agriculture pilot projects.

Nature Conservancy Urban Heat Academy 

We facilitate community outreach and host a series of community education sessions related to improving neighborhood energy security and resilience. 

Host an energy insecurity working group for organizational leaders that work to improve neighborhood level energy efficiency, workforce development and sustainable practices.

Partner with Power52 to implement a green job workforce development program in the future.

City of Phoenix Sustainability Office improves neighborhood transportation and mobility

We facilitate workshops in South Phoenix, Maryvale, Sunnyslope and Avondale to identify communities’ heat and mobility priorities in order to develop pilot projects.

#CoolandClean Challenges

We partner with other organizations and volunteers to encourage and support neighborhood clean-up and green-up projects.

Community Health Workers in Action

Environmental Justice helps spread awareness about climate change, and how to build resilient communities. 

Blog Post- Environmental Justice

Event: Making Space Festival - Grow Local Tempe 

Date: May 10, 2023


 

Breaking down the barriers to food access: insights from our event.

 

Today we participated in the Making Space Festival organized by the City of Tempe’s Parks and Recreation Department. We got invited by a staff member from the office of sustainability and other organizations across the metro Phoenix area to showcase the importance of food, from a cooking class to the results of months of research and survey-taking to the Tempe residents. The organizations involved were Unlimited Potential, ASU Swette Center, Sana Sana, Food Forest, Arizona Sustainability Alliance (AZSA), Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA), and Farm Express.

 

We had a great time talking with the community and hearing their insights and interests in urban agriculture and the options they want to see in their community. After the months-long survey-taking, we learned that:

 

  • Quality, cost, and location matter most; culture, health considerations, and plant-based options are also important when choosing what to eat.

  • Food access is a challenge because 53% of us worry about running out of money for food.

  • We want to know more about health and nutrition, cooking and recipes, and edible native desert plants.

  • Urban agriculture should increase access to local food through farmers' markets, community gardens, and orchards.

  • Vacant land should be used first for urban agriculture and then recreation.

  • A vision for neighborhood food could be to learn more about food and urban agriculture, become more self-sufficient, and increase community connection.

  • Better communication is needed, because only 48% of us knew about Escalante Community Garden.

 

At the event, community members recommended locations where they would want to see community gardens, community orchards, edible gardens, farmers market school gardens, and urban farms. 

 

For our next steps, we invite Tempe residents to the next Grow Local Tempe workshop on Thursday, June 22 from 5:30-7:30 at Escalante Community Center. Participants will receive a gift card for their time.

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Event: Chispa AZ- Cool and Clean Challenge - Rio Salado 

Date: February 25, 2023

The Rio Salado is a beautiful river that used to run through the heart of Phoenix, the fifth most populated state in the US. Today, it's mostly a dry river bed and trash and debris accumulate over time due to people and the occasional floodwaters from upriver. 

As part of the #CoolandClean Challenge, CHISPA AZ hosted a cleanup event. Volunteers walked along the riverbank, picking up trash and debris and filling bags with everything from plastic bottles to clothes and car stuffing.  After a couple of hours, more than 15 bags of trash were collected. The work was hard, but the volunteers were motivated, knowing they were making a difference in the river and our local environment. 

CHISPA AZ is committed to continuing the Cool and Clean Challenge in strategic areas along the Rio Salado! 

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Event: Art in the Park- City of Avondale

Date of Event: February 18, 2023 

Art is something that we can find everywhere in nature, such as the fantastic sunsets in Arizona. But what artists create can be just as impressive. Today, artist and muralist Miguel A. Godoy showcased a preview of banner art for Fred Campbell Park that was created based on community input last November at a tree-planting event at the park hosted by Unlimited Potential and the City of Avondale. We welcomed community members with great activities; children and parents made bird feeders, played Jenga, and had delicious refreshments. 

Unlimited Potential also offered teenagers and adults free blood pressure measurements to increase their awareness of personal health.

Events like these create strong relationships with city partners, local artists, and community members to collaborate in the future.

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Event: Cool and Clean Challenge- Ho-E Mini Park, 128 W Illini St, Phoenix, AZ 85041 

Date of Event: February 4, 2023

Parks are an essential part of our urban environment and our community. In some neighborhoods, these vital green spaces are limited or nonexistent! Last year, community members told Unlimited Potential community health workers that Ho-E Park needed to be cleaned up as people outside the community were dumping trash and bulk materials in this long-neglected park! We partnered with CHISPA AZ, the City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department, and community members to clean it up - filling up four trash trucks!

 

A recent check on Ho-E Park found it better than before but with more dumped trash and overgrown weeds, so February 4 was our 2nd cleanup event. More community members came this time, and we provided healthy fruits, local burritos, and refreshments. Unlimited Potential also kicked off our 1st #CoolandClean Challenge, and CHISPA AZ accepted.  

 

Unlimited Potential is grateful to the City of Phoenix, the University of Arizona, CHISPA AZ, students of ASU, and community members for playing their part. 

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